February 2010 Newsletter


Inviting New Board Members      

At our annual meeting on April 23rd we will elect new board members for next year.  This is a critical issue for our all-volunteer-run organization.  Over the next several months our current board members and a Nominating Committee will be talking with members about getting involved. We invite all members to consider serving in some capacity.  Tell any board member, listed at the end of the newsletter, that you’re interested.  They can also answer your questions about board roles (which are more fully described in the Livret on pages 49-51).

Here are the positions:

President:  Coordinates the work of the Board and the assistant; creates annual budget, contracts with instructors; organizes class schedules and room assignments

First VP:  Membership Chairman: Oversees enrollment process and produces the annual roster (the Livret)

Second VP:  Social Chairman (primary functions are holiday and spring parties and summer luncheon)        

Treasurer: Manages all payables, bank accounts and CDs.  Prints out reports as needed for meetings. (There is nothing about running the finances of the club that is different from any household.)

Asst. Treasurer:  Assists the Treasurer; serves as Chair of the Textbook Committee

Secretary:  Records minutes of Business Meetings; handles correspondence; coordinates the schedule for noon programs        

Asst. Secretary:  Produces newsletter and organizes publicity during summer months. The Board meets approximately four times a year at times set for the convenience of the board members. 

It is possible to carry out these responsibilities around travel, work, or family obligations.


Have a suggestion?

We are committed to making your learning experience positive and successful. If you have a suggestion for an instructor, speak up and tell them. If you have a general idea or concern, tell a board member.  

There is a Suggestion Box at the top of the stairs, in the hallway where you pick up a nametag each week.  Write down your thoughts and we’ll get the information to the right person.


Keep the Snacks Coming!

Having tasty snacks to get us through our Friday morning studies depends on you. It’s traditional that snack donations tend to wane at this time of year—so we need volunteers to step up now.  You don’t have to feed the entire school—three or four other members will contribute, too.  And your treats don’t have to be homemade.

You’ll find the sign-up list to bring treats in the Social Room.

Also in the Social Room:  Look for used foreign language books on a cart.  All are for sale.  You will find a donation jar on the cart.


Upcoming Noon Programs

ITALIAN PROGRAM  Friday, February 12th at noon

Grazia Serra, who was born in Schio, Italy, near Vicenza will talk in Italian about her childhood and the history of the Veneto region.


Joan Gastinger plans to take Grazia out to continue the converstion over lunch, after the program.  If you'd like to join them, tell Joan in advance so she can make reservations for the group.  See her in class or contact her at jgastinger@gmail.com.


SPANISH PROGRAM  Friday, March 5th at noon

Maria A. Perez-Andujar will talk in Spanish about Asturias, in Northern Spain, where she spent her early childhood years. The region is of Celtic tradition, it was the only region never invaded by the Arabs, and started the "Reconquista" (take back the land from the Moors). Visitors to Asturias will find pre-historic art, pre-roman, gothic, and more. The area has a microclimate that is actually very similar to Ireland's.

SPANISH PROGRAM Friday, March 12th at noon

 Al Moore will speak in Spanish about a recent visit to Ecuador.   Al currently teaches  Spanish in the Adult Education  division of North Kansas City Schools.   He  has  a Diploma Internacional de Espanol from Universidad Potificia de Salamanca, and a Certificado de Capacitacion Ocupacional from the Ministry of Education of Ecuador which certifies  him to  teach English as a Second Language (ESL)  .   He also offers  services in translation and interpretation, as well as all-day Spanish Immersion programs.   


A Year Teaching English in China  in  ENGLISH  April 16th  at  noon

Last fall, former Pembroke Hill French teacher Ann Miller presented  a fascinating program about the year she and her husband spent in China teaching English .  The French department enjoyed this so much that we decided to offer it again to anyone in La Causerie.  This time she will speak in ENGLISH about this fascinating cultural experience, accompanied by pictures she took during her time there. 

Many thanks to Monaem Elhawari.  Be sure to check out the photos he has taken of La Causerie activities.  They are on the La Causerie website link to the wiki  lacauserie.wikispaces.com.


Shop Amazon.com and Support La Causerie

You can continue to help support La Causerie (at no extra cost to you!) when you shop online at Amazon.com.  To support La Causerie you must access Amazon through any of our Amazon.com links at www.lacauserie.org.  In return for the promotion we give them on our site, they send us a small percentage of their profit. Every little bit helps us to keep your membership fees low.


Snow Policy:  When Shawnee Mission School District closes for bad weather, La Causerie will also be closed. Please listen to the list of school closings on television and radio or check the district’s website, http://www.smsd.org/.


Important Dates:

February 12th        Italian program at noon

March 5th              Spanish Program at noon

March 12th            Spanish Program at noon  

March 19th            No classes, Spring Break

March 26th            Classes resume

April 16th               Program in English at noon: Teaching English in China

April 23rd               Annual meeting, Election of Officers and Spring Fête

May 7th                 Last day of classes


Executive Board Members 2009-10





Email address




Dalene Bradford

1st Vice President

(Membership Chair)

Judith Walter

2nd Vice President

(Social Chair)

Jeff Piehler



Carol Cowden



Judy Pearlstein

 Assistant Secretary (Newsletter)

Anita Toby Grow


Inez Pennington

Assistant Treasurer

(Textbook Chair)

Joan Daniels


Amanda Hassett

Note: Email addresses and phone numbers are omitted from our website at www.lacauserie.org .

Please refer to the e-news or Livret when these are needed.